Friday, November 5, 2010

Dairy Goats

If you want an easy way to have your very own dairy animals, you may want to consider dairy goats.  All you need to keep your family in milk are two female who have kidded (otherwise they won't have milk).

Your biggest consideration, however, is time.  Goats must be milked morning and evening.  You can't skip a milking.

If you think that keeping goats is a distinct possibility for you, then I want to encourage you to take that step. Goats are good natured, gentle, and relatively easy to care for. They don't take as much room or feed as a cow would. Best of all, they love spending time with humans.  They are as faithful and gregarious as a dog.

What can you do with goat milk? Obviously, you can drink it, and for those who are lactose intolerant, you'll be glad to hear that goat milk is often tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant. Goat milk does contain lactose, but many people are able to tolerate it.

This means you can have milk, yogurt, ice cream, cream, and cheese all made from goat milk. 

Making basic cheese is a pretty simple process, and is a long honored tradition of taking the nutritional value of the milk and putting it in a form that is more easily stored. We'll be looking into some of the cheesemaking techniques in upcoming posts for you to try at home.

What type of goat should you get?  If at all possible, visit people who keep goats and become acquainted with them, their size, personalities, and to see first-hand the kind of work that will be involved.  During your visit, talk to them about the variety of goat they keep, and ask them why.

What you'll find is that there are a couple of breeds that are best for dairy production, among them are the Nubians which are considered to be the very best dairy goat because their milk has an exceptional butterfat content.  Another really good dairy goat is the  La Mancha goat.

However, any goat that kids will provide milk, and if you fall in love with a completely different variety, you'll make it work, but you'll find that their milk production tapers off more dramatically than that of a good milk goat.

Need helping locating a goat breeder?  Go to Goat Finder for help.  For more information, please see my article in Acreage Life Magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment